Poor weather is being blamed for a drastic loss of income at this year’s Lowestoft Airshow, which has resulted in organisers making the shock announcement that it will almost certainly be the last.

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"Unfortunately this year we have become another victim of the vagaries of the British weather."

Managing director Paul Bayfield.

A meeting of the organising committee last week was told the sad news that the first-ever weekend event had failed to raise the sums necessary to make it a viable proposition to go ahead with an airshow next year.

In fact it was only because the organisers had a small wet weather contingency reserve fund that all the costs for the event could just be met at all – leaving the reserves at rock bottom.

The popular event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people, has been running for 16 years - but today, organisers have confirmed that the show will not go-ahead next year.

Reacting to the announcement from airshow organisers today, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said news of the cancellation was “very sad”.

He said: “I would like to pay tribute to Paul (Bayfield) and his team who have worked very hard – especially the work carried out over the last few years – to make the air festival the greatest show on the east coast. I hope this is only an interim measure and that in future years it will come back in a different guise stronger than ever before.”

Colin Law, Leader of Waveney District Council, said: “”I am shocked to hear the announcement from the airshow organising committee and it would be a very great shame if the event was to be cancelled. However I know that work will continue to save the event and I personally believe that no stone will be left unturned by Paul Bayfield and his team.”

This year’s show took place on June 23/24 and was considered the best show ever by many in terms of the flying displays.

Managing Director Paul Bayfield said: “It is with much regret and a lot of sadness that I have to report that we do not have sufficient funds to go ahead with an Air Show next year.

“The event has been running for 16 years and has only survived that long because of the wonderful support that has been forthcoming. Unfortunately this year we have become another victim of the vagaries of the British weather.”

For more reaction to this story, see tomorrow’s EDP.

To re-live this year’s air show, view the photo gallery and links at the top-right of this page.

What do you think about the show being cancelled? Are you surprised? Leave a comment below.

44 comments

  • Southend Borough Council manages to put on a free air show, year after year without any trouble. So why can`t Lowestoft do the same without all this, "it`s off, no it isn`t, it`s back on", saga we have come to know.

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    BG

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • The event had become very tired over the last few years,it maybe an idea to give it a rest for a year or two,prehaps make it a biannual event?? Anyone walking around the site,especially later in the afternoon would have noticed drunks misbehaving,is it really necessary to have a beer tent at a family event? I witnessed drunks fighting on the train after the last show and the train crew trying to deal with it. Why not try another type of event instead of an airshow? any ideas?

    Report this comment

    timmy_two_sheds

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • Monkey Nuts. I never put if forward as an argument. I made the comment after you suggested that £3.00 did not represent value for money - so why attend the event? I have attended every event since they started and have always contributed. If you support local events then why does £3.00 (the cost of a pint) not represent value? I am more aware than most about the major issues in this world I can assure you, but quite how this is relevant to the value for money the event represents is beyond me. Very odd reply.

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    Marty

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • Merrydancer & Gary Walpole have got it spot on, They do this EVERY year. Couldnt they have waited a few days to announce this and let the town bask in having some good news with the Mary Portas thing. I note that this story is way down the news list now.

    Report this comment

    Sinders

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • The format may be a bit tired and did need looking at. However, Southend hold a free air show every year. The flying at that event this year took place for only three hours on each day and had less aircraft. Maybe their council shows greater commitment.

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    Marty

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • MANAGING DIRECTOR ???????????? WTF !.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Blame the Weather-Absolute Bull-Get down to facts its just another loss to what the Tories have trashed up and ruined since they got power-shocked Aldous-your lot are laughing sniggering and scoffing over it all.

    Report this comment

    Colin James Watling

    Friday, July 27, 2012

  • the whole event was a tiring let down.many planes cancelled on both days. there was pop music blasted all along the seafront--really far too loud.i don't care if its off next year.

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    bookworm

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Marty - having read my 'odd' reply I struggle to find what you are having a problem with. You have related the cost of entry to the problems I described, where as I was relating them to the comment you made about seeing (or not in your case) trouble at beer tents (not just at the Air show). You completely missed my point. With regards to VFM, if your a family of 4, who just want to walk along the promenade and have to pay over £10 to do so, then no its not worth it. They need to look at where they are going wrong, its very mundane and the programme itself is dated.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • You get the same old people at these kind of events, you know the ones that feel the need to hang around the beer tent. What is it with a beer tent? It attracts the dregs of society. Gorlestons the same, you wait and see the beer tent at the Cliff Top Gala at the weekend, all the finest specimens will be there, adourned in head to toe tattoos and football paraphernalia, shouting abuse whilst familys look on. Same every year. Anyway i digress, i remember the days as a kid that i would come home with bags of free stuff from the various sponsors. I dont think you get anything now do you? I pay to get in but imo its not worth the money.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • Monkey Nuts - you pay to get in but it is not worth the money? £3.00? Seriously? Why did you go then? And with regard to the Beer Tent - I have never even been aware of it causing any major problems. Unless you are hanging around them yourself?

    Report this comment

    Marty

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • They asked people to make a donation of £3. If half the people attending had done this it would have survived. The blame goes to those who took something for nothing thus depriving those who paid of a great event.

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    Robert Coyle

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • More beach at Gorleston, Big Sean? Gorleston may have stolen Hoptons' sands, thanks to the lovely big waste of money that is the outer port, but still a long way to go to be larger than the beach at Lowestoft. But, back to the airshow - BG has it spot on. Our council are just not interested in what is the biggest tourist attraction on this part of the coast. If they were genuinely interested in attracting tourists they would subsidise this event heavily. What is the cost - the salary of a couple of Waveney District Council's elite members? I am also extremely sceptical about the amount of money taken at this years event. It was more expensive to attend this year and I felt the stewards were far more stringent in collecting than previous air shows. The weather is a limp excuse too as Saturday was well attended. I have been to every air show since the beginning and there has been far worse weather in some previous years.

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    Marty

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • The big issue here is that the event is run by somebody with no vision or forward thinking at all. I used to go ever year but haven't been for the last couple of years, as it's the same stuff every year and has got very boring. You can practically list everything that will be on and flying before they even announce it. Yes there are some tight and unacceptable gits who don't pay the donation of £3 and yes bad weather sometimes does effect the turn out but those are just excuses to cover up the real reason this event has dwindled away year on year. Mix it up a bit in the air and on the ground and this event could be a success for years to come but people are BORED of it now!!

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    Erased Citizen

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • come on GREAT YARMOUTH.jump in and lets show them how to do it. I couldn't get passed the buckets without almost standing in them so admire the people who managed it.After all it is on the public highway.while i was there I did spend quite a lot of money on site,in the town before hand and in the local pubs after.Is this income being taken into account.

    Report this comment

    Brian Buckingham

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Reason is simples...Success=a weekday during the school summer holidays....however failure=a normal Saturday in early summer.....

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    Bruce87

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Every year at about this time we get the same story about how this is the last year that the airshow will run. Shame on you EDP for falling for this one YET AGAIN!! We all know the routine...and we all know that the show will run again next year...this is boring now. There must be other news surely??

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    merrydancer

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Personally I always thought the claims of 340,000 etc attending whiffed a bit of bullsh*t.

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    Nick South

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • In all honesty i cannot say that i am not surprised. If they had a decent selection of aircraft coming through i am pretty sure people would be prepared to put their hands in their pockets. Having said that people should put money in the buckets. I've lost count how many times i saw people last year walk straight past the collection tins stating "I've no money sorry" to then be seen buying the over inflated food being sold there. So they're as much to blame as the organisers. Oh well Southend it is then - thanks for the last 16 years.

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    nobbly1

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • So what happens to all that money then? I put in 30 quid over the 2 days the most I have ever done. I personally think it was held way to early this year which is what let it down. In previous years it wad held in july or august and the seafront was packed this year I found parking on the street notva problem where normally you can't park for love or money. It's a shame as my son loves the show and this year the weather was not to bkame, god you could not even get on the seafront without walking through a barage of pink shirts.

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    vinny.p

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Spot on Vinny! I would like to question why they did not make sufficient money. The pink shirts were indeed everywhere.

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    Marty

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • Hey monkeynuts, another sweeping generalisation eh? I like a beer tent but if you ever call me a dreg of society I may, no I will, be very offended. HM The Queen didn't think I was when presented to her and honoured. After 23 years military service and then further public service I think I'm entitled to the odd beer now and then. Anyway, like you, I digress.

    Report this comment

    micklynn

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • Hi Kevin. I have often wondered just how much value there is to local traders myself. But it seems to be traders from outside the town, setting up on the seafront, that do as much trade as those locally. I also believe that if the council were genuine about local tourism, which is pretty much all we have now, then they should heavily subsidise the event too.

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    Marty

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • we paid £3 each.im' livid thousands did not.

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    bookworm

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • And the contradictions I find irritating. News archive, June 24th - 'Organisers delight as estimated 200,000 people descend on Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival'. Now Paul Bayfield is saying that it was a 'victim of the vagaries of the British Weather!' This post show scenario is also becoming very tiresome...

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    Marty

    Friday, July 27, 2012

  • same thing every year ! well with the money i save i will go to a propper air show this year ! i bet this will change within 6 months it is scare tactics to make you all feel bad for not supporting lol well if thats the case let them get on with it ! its more there loss than ours

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    Gary Walpole

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • I never understand why this has never been held in mid summer over a weekend. And why isnt everyone charged for entry - even if it was a set £1 charge it would obviously exceed the previous donations levels. Its the same story every year

    Report this comment

    Mrs Meldrew

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • I guess for every person who pays there are more who don't, yet they stand side by side and enjoy the same event. Thank these people for the show no longer going ahead.

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    KeithS

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • In Fact, in the related links it says Organisers hail ‘bulldog spirit’ as 340,000 visitors attend Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Southend Borough Council manages to put on a free air show, year after year without any trouble. So why can`t Lowestoft do the same without all this, "it`s off, no it isn`t, it`s back on", saga we have come to know.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • As we are constantly being told that this 'event' brings jobs and untold millions into the local economy I expect there will be a mad rush by local business to stump up money to fund next year. Or will there?.

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    kevin bacon

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • The last show wasnt the best ever as quoted.Full of cancellations due to rain.

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    bookworm

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Knock Knock !!! Hello GY COUNCIL nows your chance to do something good for our town...Great Yarmouth Airshow 1st weekend of august 2013 - Why not go for it ???

    Report this comment

    Monkeyhanger

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • With respect Monkey Nuts your point was not clear until this point. I do understand what you are saying about £10 for a family of four etc. but this is still a cheap day out. I would also wonder why you would want to 'stroll' down the seafront on an air show day as you can hardly move. Best avoided if all you want to do is stroll. That, of course, is an argument that anybody could make to the stewards though and get away with not paying. I do think the air show needs a revamp and they need to look at not just what is in the air, but also on the ground. I have always been a little disappointed at that side of things - not enough variety, too few local traders too. It seems that traders come from everywhere but Lowestoft.

    Report this comment

    Marty

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • billytheolympicbookie

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Part of the Great Yarmouth carnival, which seems to be gathering pace

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    gy_bourne

    Friday, July 27, 2012

  • food and drink was expensive but plenty bought it.i agree the same people declined the 3 pound entry fee.

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    bookworm

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • I`m not overly suprised at this. The weather was terrible which put us off going. Then there`s the usual crowds who do not pay or donate. Then you know it`s going to cost a fortune to park if you are lucky enough to find a space then everywhere usually rips you off with the price of food & Ice cream etc etc. I`ve said for years this would be much better at Gorleston with more room on the beach but that said parking would still be a pain.

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    BigSean

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • It's a shame but it has to happen eventually, it's not just poor weather and people who don't donate, its the same thing year after year, you can only watch a certain amount of times before you can't be bothered to go, the only people that really take notice of it would be holiday makers and ones that like aeroplanes. Southend Air Show is the same, I've seen it once when I used to live in Southend and didn't have any incentive to see it again because it's the same every year there as well, if we were at home we could watch the planes fly over us anyway.

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    Spooky

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • I swear they were saying they had record crowds this year because it was on a weekend. I waited for the red arrows in the sunshine so how is bad weather to blame?

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • I do not want to be a killjoy but this is just the sort of thing that will have to go to save money. I think you should expect to see far more of this sort of thing. You know the money has run out.

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    Johnny Norfolk

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Marty - how is that even an argument? Are you upset that I actually paid or that I felt it doesn't represent value for money? Should I have not paid and then gloated on here that fact? Why do I have to please you? As for your beer tent comment there is child abuse, starvation, corruption, civil unrest in the world, just because YOU don't see it doesn't mean its not happening. Reality check Marty - these are my observations from someone who supports local events.

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    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • As with all claims about tourism the benefit to the Lowestoft area as a whole could perhaps have been proven with a bit of statistic collection by volunteers. I for one would not want to see GY waste a penny on an airshow. It would have to be shown that knowledge of the event actually persuaded potential holiday makers to book a holiday otherwise the gain is nil-existing holidaymakers would be spending money in the town anyway. Similarly if the crowds are made up of locals from a 10 mile or so radius, all they are doing is spending what money they have to spare in one part of Waveney rather than another. Which leaves air show geeks- how many of them would there be? The point about choosing the weekend carefully is valid-now that parents are only allowed to take children out of school in term time if they have a letter from their employers to say they have no other available vacation time, the holiday season seems to have contracted. And for years the organisers have been moaning that people watch the show but don't contribute to the collection-maybe they were at the seaside for a seaside holiday and would go to Duxford , Scampton, Coningsby or Lakenheath if they wanted to see planes.

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • This years crowds were easily the lowest for several years, very sad to see it go, first the carnival and now this, Lowestoft is a town where very little happens as it is.

    Report this comment

    BlueRobin

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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